The collection of the papers of Rector Mgr John Hagan at the Pontifical Irish College, Rome, contains for the most part incoming mail deriving from his vice-rectorship (1904-1919) and rectorship (1919-1930) up to his death in March 1930. The subseries further illustrate his keen interest in both contemporary Irish and Italian politics and in academic history – treated often in his commentary as a counterfoil for contemporary Irish society, as well as his priestly office.

Much of the correspondence received by Hagan during his rectorships concerned administrational matters. Since Paul Cullen's time (1832-1849), the rectors of the Irish College were the Irish hierarchy's agents in Rome (hence the regular payment of a honorarium to Hagan from each diocese), and the papers witness the constant stream of 'errands' to be run at the Vatican Curia and at the various congregations. This concerns particularly faculties asked by bishops and priests, dispensations asked by bishops and priests for their parishioners, Peter's Pence payed, as well as any matters to be resolved between ordinaries and religious communities in their dioceses (such as the approval of new constitutions, or any liaison with the Congregation for Religious). The enquiries for marriage dispensations decrease much after the granting of general faculties to the Irish bishops in [1922-1923].

The Hagan papers fall into seven parts: by far the largest series, HAG1 (21 boxes) holds the correspondence of John Hagan, as collected by him at the College in his capacity as vice-rector of the seminary (1904 -1919) and later as its rector (1920-1930). This contains mostly his incoming mail, with no more than 5% of drafts for outgoing letters. There is, however, no documentation of items in fact dispatched. The first series is in chronological order, with some items added to each year whose exact date is unclear. Arrangement of HAG1 is chronological. At some point the original order was discarded for a rigid system of chronology, for instance filing items originally enclosed with letters separately. The original order has been restored again in those cases where covering letter and enclosure could be identified with certainty. In some cases corrections of dates by archivists have been followed - as in HAG 1/ 1912/ 2 – unless there was contextual evidence against this. For the first part of the collection, numbers had previously been given to letters which were preserved (under the new codes).

The second series, HAG2 (139 items), consists of undateable items, ordered alphabetically by the writer of the letter, with some items added that are unidentified. HAG3 consists of items that were separated at some stage (by an unknown agency) from the bulk of the papers, consisting of 'political' material, that is mostly reports, memoranda, and bulletins, with items either in draft form by Hagan himself, or printed and published items (80 items). HAG4 holds material regarding Hagan's publications, both of an ecclesiastical and pastoral, and of a political nature (34 items). HAG5 consists of research papers, usually of a historical nature (19 items). HAG6 is a collection of Hagan's drafts for homilies and related material meant for parish work (95 items).

This text was adapted from the Introduction to the Hagan Collection by Vera Moynes.

The collection was digitized by Cezara Petrina of the Archives of the Pontifical Irish College, Rome.

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